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    (Original post by ubi1)
    Rome and madrid the fastest clay surfaces?
    Yes - without a doubt
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    Odd draw?

    Djokovic route: Youzhny, Monaco, Del Potro, Berdych/Gasquet, Nadal/Murray

    Nadal route: Verdasco, Bellucci/Chardy, Tipsarevic/Simon, Murray/Tsonga/Wawrinka, Djokovic/Del Potro

    Murray route: Haase, Wawrinka, Tsonga, Nadal, Djokovic/Del Potro
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    I have no idea how Nadal gets such easy draws. I just... I mean, every single time. It's crazy. He'd win anyway, but you want to see at least a little bit of a struggle, you know?

    Anyway, here's my pick:

    http://challenge.atpworldtour.com/at...3&X=1365859026
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    Late to the conversation about Murray vs Delpo on clay, and I think it's not as clear cut as some people say it is, but I'd argue that Delpo has on balance a better record on clay, and is overall the better clay player. While relatively poor at the clay Masters, where Murray has the edge, he virtually matches Murray's efforts at the French Open with both an SF and a QF, leading Federer in both matches, who before Djokovic, was undoubtedly the second best clay courter in the world. He also played Djokovic close at the 2011 French Open in the year of Novak. I take his tournament wins in Estoril not as the central point to arguing he's better but in supplement to his great performances at the French, and combine all that together and his results are - relatively speaking - better. Add his injury lay off into it and that Murray hasn't made any major inroads since his best clay year in 2011 and the case is even stronger for Delpo.

    As a clay court player Del Potro is also better. For a guy that big he moves superbly and seems to understand the surface better than Murray; being an Argentinian is probably part of that - he likely grew up playing on clay. Clay court tennis is about creating angles and expanding the size of the court, which as we've seen before, Del Potro is brilliant at doing, when he brings his forehand into play. Movement on clay is built around running around the forehand to hit inside out, and Del Potro possesses the most powerful IO shot on tour. The high bounce sits up perfectly for Delpo on the clay to absolutely cannon forehands and it's been that shot that almost beat Federer twice at the FO. Murray on the other hand finds it difficult and unnatural to employ this tactic. While he's come a long way on the surface since 2008, Murray doesn't play as naturally on the surface as Delpo.

    Outside of the US Open, I've always felt Delpo's best chance at a second major is the French Open, which is definitely not true of Murray.

    Of course, this would all be settled if they met at the FO this year.
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    (Original post by Sirocco11)
    As a clay court player Del Potro is also better. For a guy that big he moves superbly and seems to understand the surface better than Murray; being an Argentinian is probably part of that - he likely grew up playing on clay.
    Whilst you make some good points, wasn't most of Murray's development spent in Spain? So he should have spent a lot of his youth on clay I'd have thought.
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    (Original post by Slumpy)
    Whilst you make some good points, wasn't most of Murray's development spent in Spain? So he should have spent a lot of his youth on clay I'd have thought.
    Yeah that's correct, training in Barcelona I think. Which is why it's surprising he isn't better on the surface, compared to Delpo who also trained on clay as a junior and moves strongly on it.
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    (Original post by Slumpy)
    Whilst you make some good points, wasn't most of Murray's development spent in Spain? So he should have spent a lot of his youth on clay I'd have thought.
    Yeah, I think it was his favourite surface when he was younger. Not sure what happened though.
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    (Original post by Sirocco11)
    Late to the conversation about Murray vs Delpo on clay, and I think it's not as clear cut as some people say it is, but I'd argue that Delpo has on balance a better record on clay, and is overall the better clay player. While relatively poor at the clay Masters, where Murray has the edge, he virtually matches Murray's efforts at the French Open with both an SF and a QF, leading Federer in both matches, who before Djokovic, was undoubtedly the second best clay courter in the world. He also played Djokovic close at the 2011 French Open in the year of Novak. I take his tournament wins in Estoril not as the central point to arguing he's better but in supplement to his great performances at the French, and combine all that together and his results are - relatively speaking - better. Add his injury lay off into it and that Murray hasn't made any major inroads since his best clay year in 2011 and the case is even stronger for Delpo.

    As a clay court player Del Potro is also better. For a guy that big he moves superbly and seems to understand the surface better than Murray; being an Argentinian is probably part of that - he likely grew up playing on clay. Clay court tennis is about creating angles and expanding the size of the court, which as we've seen before, Del Potro is brilliant at doing, when he brings his forehand into play. Movement on clay is built around running around the forehand to hit inside out, and Del Potro possesses the most powerful IO shot on tour. The high bounce sits up perfectly for Delpo on the clay to absolutely cannon forehands and it's been that shot that almost beat Federer twice at the FO. Murray on the other hand finds it difficult and unnatural to employ this tactic. While he's come a long way on the surface since 2008, Murray doesn't play as naturally on the surface as Delpo.

    Outside of the US Open, I've always felt Delpo's best chance at a second major is the French Open, which is definitely not true of Murray.

    Of course, this would all be settled if they met at the FO this year.
    I agree with what you said, however i still believe delpo has the best chance to win his second slam at the us open, it has had 4/5 different winners.
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    What happened was the typical Murray problem in that he doesn't have any heavy weapons. Murray's greatest strength as a player, and imo he's better at this than any other player on the tour, is a ridiculously good sense of anticipation and ability to see ahead. For someone who is not in the same category of shot-maker as much of the rest of the top 8 bar Ferrer, he does it by almost always being the right place at the right time to make as best a shot he can. When the ball is moving fast, that's a god-send. On clay, players have much more time to be able to see ahead, so to speak. Anticipation becomes a less vital skill. Instead, you need either some incredibly heavy weapons to hit through the court, or you need an excellent ability to work angles, particularly a DTL forehand. Murray doesn't have either, which stops him achieving the next level on clay. Thankfully, he has an excellent dropshot, which means he doesn't have to get as large an angle as some other players before he can push people too far on the baseline. The dropshot is the reason Murray does as well on clay as he does, and the forehand is the reason he doesn't do better.

    That said, if the AO is anything to go by, his forehand has improved. Hopefully he'll pick his form up from Miami (odd, considering he won. )
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    My picks for Monte-Carlo (playing it safe):

    http://challenge.atpworldtour.com/at...3&X=1365861065
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    Ah. Can't view another entrant's draw until the tournament has started.
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    (Original post by Sirocco11)
    Yeah that's correct, training in Barcelona I think. Which is why it's surprising he isn't better on the surface, compared to Delpo who also trained on clay as a junior and moves strongly on it.
    I think he doesn't move as welll because it makes his knees worse to slide? Also he would have beeen fairly old by the time he started playing on clay (14/15 I guess?) relative to how old he was when he started playing.
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    If Murray can get to the semis I reckon that'll be a solid performance from him :yy:
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    Yeah, it's quite a nasty draw for Murray. An on-form Wawrinka and Almagro at his best event, and then obviously Nadal.
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    Nadal vs Del Potro for me in the final (an epic 3 setter with Djokovic).

    To be honest i think that Del Potro is the only up and coming player who stands at least a small chance of winning all 4 (probably not while Nadal sticks around), the rest as i showed in my analysis last week are a bit rubbish on clay (Raonic, Nikishori, Tomic).
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    (Original post by TopHat)
    Yeah, it's quite a nasty draw for Murray. An on-form Wawrinka and Almagro at his best event, and then obviously Nadal.
    On form Wawrinka? not so sure about that, I just watched his SF match in Casablanca, he lost in 3 sets to Robredo (6-1, 3-6, 2-6), and played the worst i've seen from him in a while. I don't think he'll be much of a problem for Murray.
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    (Original post by Natty.B)
    On form Wawrinka? not so sure about that, I just watched his SF match in Casablanca, he lost in 3 sets to Robredo (6-1, 3-6, 2-6), and played the worst i've seen from him in a while. I don't think he'll be much of a problem for Murray.
    Spoilers! :fuhrer: I haven't watched anything from Casablanca yet...
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    (Original post by Natty.B)
    On form Wawrinka? not so sure about that, I just watched his SF match in Casablanca, he lost in 3 sets to Robredo (6-1, 3-6, 2-6), and played the worst i've seen from him in a while. I don't think he'll be much of a problem for Murray.
    When he's on song he's still a very dangerous player though, and that one-handed backhand :sogood:
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    (Original post by TopHat)
    Spoilers! :fuhrer: I haven't watched anything from Casablanca yet...
    Ooops
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    (Original post by Natty.B)
    Ooops
    No worries, I'm only joking. I don't really have the time to watch Casablanca anyway. Still, good news for me given I picked Murray to beat Wawrinka.
 
 
 
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